Kenyan authorities on Tuesday warned against circulation of leaflets and messages of impending attack by Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militant group in the country’s northeast county of Mandera.
Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have started withdrawing some of its non-local workers for fear of being attacked by the Islamist militants due to such hate messages being circulated on the social media.
He said the NGOs are withdrawing workers from Banisa, Takaba and Mandera East sub counties.
Shisia said the Al-Shabaab fighters, who last month killed dozens of Kenyan soldiers in the attack in southern Somalia, continue to change tact, noting that the messages were meant to create fear and despondency amongst NGO workers.
“We have noticed the militias have changed their strategy of attacks. Our security apparatus have also changed tack to confront them head-on,” Shisia told journalists in Mandera.
Shisia said security officers manning hotspot areas including Fino, Omar Jillo, Dabacity, Lafey and Arabia have dominated the grounds and restored security.
“The dominance by our security agents might be the root cause of such messages in parts of social media,” said Shisia.
The government administrator said security officers who on the ground are in firm control, and urged NGOs to seek the government’s position before relocating workers.
He also called on residents to volunteer information that may lead to the arrest of Al-Shabaab and their sympathizers living in their midst.
Mandera county and other parts of northern Kenya have been subjected to successive explosive attacks by Al-Shabaab operatives following the onslaught by Kenyan soldiers on the militants in Somalia since 2011.